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Finnish social network favorite of ‘lonely’ Pinoys

/ 12:12 AM December 09, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-12-07 at 2.07.07 PM

Screengrab from Heimo website

Mainstream social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have given Filipinos a medium to document and share most of the crowning moments in their life.

However, these platforms aren’t necessarily the best avenues for seeking out help regarding sensitive issues that may or may not be considered taboo in today’s society.

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To accommodate these growing concerns, a Finland-based social network, Heimo, has opened up a network where users can freely discuss topics that range from relationship woes, loneliness and depression to bullying, sexual identity crisis and other delicate issues.

The site’s slogan, “People help each other,” encourages users to share their inner thoughts and “untellable stories”  to people who are experiencing the same ordeal.

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By doing so, users may be able to receive genuine understanding and empathy from others, which they need in order to get through their problems.

Unrestricted peer-to-peer social network

True to its claim of giving users an alternative network to air their personal grievances, Heimo boasts unique characteristics that cannot be found in other social platforms.

Perhaps its most prominent feature is the complete and unfiltered freedom that it gives to its users, who are urged to discuss any topics they please, without strict control and admin involvement.

As long as posts do not seem detrimental to other persons or institutions, Heimo retains it in their archives.

The site also allows users to use nicknames or pseudonyms if they please, in order to conceal their identity if they are not comfortable to reveal themselves when discussing a certain topic.

This coincides with Heimo’s promise of letting users share stories without fear of getting shamed or judged by the public.

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More so, this allows users to ease in and get more comfortable with talking to other people, and possibly show their real selves when they are truly ready.

Heimo’s straightforward approach toward real events and conversations is also complemented by a simplistic and streamlined user interface. To sign up, users just need a valid email address and they’re good to go.

Group sharing in form of ‘tribes’

“Heimo” is the Finnish word for “tribe.” Once users write their stories, they will be able to pick a “tribe” or a peer group on where their story will appear.

Users are once again given the freedom to create their own tribes or join existing ones that they relate to the most.

Currently, the most populated tribes in the site are groups talking about “loneliness,” “depression,” “bullying,” “school and work stress,” “relationships,” “sexual identity” and “LGBT.”

Upon choosing a tribe, users can access multiple stories from people who are experiencing the same difficulties.

The mini-online community is also structured like a modern social media site, where people can leave a comment and discuss certain matters that the mainstream platforms do not usually accommodate.

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 7.15.24 PM

Screengrab from Heimo website

Growing Pinoy community

As Filipinos, it’s in our culture, perhaps  even in our DNA, to be compassionate and considerate toward those who are experiencing personal struggles.

This is why it comes as no surprise that almost 80% percent of Heimo users are actually from the Philippines.

Since its launch last March, the company has welcomed over 100,000 users—80,000 of whom are Filipinos, which makes us one of the most active online nations in Southeast Asia, along with Indonesia.

The site has amassed a monthly growth rate of 10-20 percent and has been receiving hundreds of messages per day.

For more information on Heimo’s ever growing interface, check out its official website: https://heimo.co.  Khristian Ibarrola

TOPICS: Heimo, peer-to-peer network, sensitive matters, Social network, tribes
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